What is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis Rectus abdominis is a separation of the left and right sides of the outermost abdominal (stomach) muscle. It is caused by forces that stretch the connective tissue called the linea alba. This condition most often occurs in pregnancy, but also may occur in infants, older women, and men
It definitely sounds scary, but it’s super common and in most cases can be healed with the correct exercises.. In fact, about two-thirds of pregnant women experience it.
It can either sprout up during pregnancy, or you might notice it right after birth. You might also hear it called a mommy tummy, mommy pooch, or Diastasis Recti.
Common Diastasis Recti Symptoms
If you’re wondering if you have Diastasis Recti here is a list of the most common symptoms:
- A pooch or bulge in your stomach, especially when you strain or contract your abdominal muscles.
- Lower back pain
- Poor posture
- Belly bloating
- Bladder leakage
Most moms reported constipation, lower back pain, and some bladder leakage. It’s also noticeable if you find your posture getting worse, it’s harder to lift things, and your abs are weaker.
You actually might be able to see the ab separation if you look at your stomach.
The best way doctors recommend to do a self-test for abdominal separation is:
- Begin by laying on the ground with your knees bent
- Curl up and crunch
- Take your fingers and find the centerline of your abs, next to your belly button. You are going to use your fingers to feel and measure for a gap in your linea alba.
- Take 2 fingers and see If there’s a gap, above the belly button and next to the belly button
- Most women will have some sort of ab gap after having a baby
- If you measure 2x or more fingers then you might have diastasis rectiRemember I’m NOT a doctor, please go see your doctor to be officially diagnosed.
Is Diastasis Recti Dangerous?
The big question on your mind right now is probably how dangerous this is.
Are you ready for a truth bomb?
If Diastasis Recti is not addressed then you can possibly end up suffering from:
- Excruciating back pain. That means bending over to pick up your kids or groceries will be painful.
- Urinary leakage. Your deep core muscles and pelvic floor work hand in hand, and if you don’t address this injury this can lead to embarrassing and uncontrollable leakage.
- Low Body Confidence. All women I have worked with in the past, are extremely body-conscious when it comes to “the pooch”. One woman even told me she didn’t feel comfortable being intimate with her husband.
- Say goodbye to regular ab workouts. If you continue to do planks, crunches or any strenuous exercise that will further damage your diastasis recti you will be setting yourself back even further from ever healing your mommy tummy.
- Hernia. One woman told me she ended up developing a hernia from her untreated Diastasis Recti.
As you can see if left untreated Diastasis Recti can cause major friction in your life. For all my busy moms out there, you have the hardest job around. After having your baby, your life and body feel so different.
What is the first step to take to know if I have a Diastasis Recti?
You can begin by giving yourself a at home Diastasis Recti test. The second step you can take is educating yourself on safe exercises you can do at home to begin strengthening your deep core & pelvic floor muscles. I created a free workout guide on how to do this. Click on the link below.